A Green Building Program consisting of four ordinances that is being considered by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors was presented to the Marina del Rey Design Control Board Thursday, March 20th, at the Burton Chace Park Community Building in Marina del Rey.

In the presentation, representatives of the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning said the purpose of the Green Building ordinances is to establish minimum requirements that maximize the positive impacts that incorporating green building techniques into the construction of residential and non-residential buildings have on the community and the natural environment.

A green building is one that is sited, designed, constructed and operated to enhance the well-being of occupants, and to minimize negative impacts on the community and natural environments, offering key design features such as energy and water efficiency, waste reduction, indoor air quality and use of sustainable building materials.

Regional Planning Ordinance Study Section representatives Melissa Brizee and Lauren Rank presented the Green Building Program information, which would include the Los Angeles County Departments of Water and Power, Public Works and Parks and Recreation.

Brizee said that regional planning is performing a cost-benefit analysis and public outreach, and exploring educational opportunities and program incentives.

A Notice of Public Hearing before the Regional Planning Commission was issued and the meeting was held Wednesday, January 23rd, in downtown Los Angeles.

Public hearings were also held by the Department of Regional Planning December 5th, 6th and 10th at that same location.

Projects meeting the following thresholds would have to comply under a given timeline:

— new high-rise buildings that are higher than 75 feet as defined in Title 26 of the Los Angeles County Code;

— hotels or non-residential or mixed-use buildings greater than or equal to 25,000 square feet of gross floor area, including any additions with a gross floor area

of 25,000 square feet or more, as well as spaces of remodels within a building with a gross floor area of 25,000 square feet or more that include mechanical, electrical and plumbing work;

— hotel or non-residential or mixed use buildings greater than or equal to 10,000 square feet and less than 25,000 square feet of gross floor area, including any additions with a gross floor area greater than or equal to 10,000 square feet and less than 25,000 square feet and spaces of remodels within a building with a gross floor area greater than or equal to 10,000 square feet and less than 25,000 square feet that include mechanical, electrical and plumbing work; and

— new residential buildings, including single-family dwellings, two-family dwellings, multi-family dwellings, parcel maps and tract maps.

Exemptions include approval by the director of planning for a temporary project and any project where an application for a building permit was accepted by the Department of Public Works for a building permit prior to the effective date of this ordinance, according to documentation.

The Drought-Tolerant Landscaping ordinance would establish minimum standards for the design and installation of landscaping using drought-tolerant plants and native plants that require minimum water and ensure that the county would continue to realize the benefits of landscaping that is appropriate to the particular project and the region’s climate, said Brizee.

This ordinance would apply to on-site landscaping for all new construction and development on private property and would not apply to construction by a public agency within public easements and road right-of-ways.

The ordinance also applies to expansion of existing buildings, additional structures, additions to structures and accessory buildings any of which are 2,500 square feet or larger.

The exception to the landscaping plan would not be required for projects that are a part of a registered historical site, golf course facility or cemetery.

Landscaping for a manufactured cut or fill slope exceeding a gradient of 3:1 may be exempted when deemed necessary by a building official to comply with building code requirements regulating engineering grading.

The Low Impact Development (LID) is under the authority of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works and that agency, under uniform rule or regulation, would apply minimum standards that incorporate low impact development principles that provide on-site storm water and runoff management for development on private property as well as other associated factors.

On January 16th last year the Board of Supervisors instructed the directors of Regional Planning and Public Works to investigate and report back on opportunities to incorporate green building principles into the county’s development standards for all appropriate industrial, commercial and residential development within unincorporated areas and to develop an implementation program that includes modifications to building and zoning codes, states county documentation.

That report was presented to the Board of Supervisors on October 23rd and as a result, the Board of Supervisors made 15 motions directed towards the Internal Services Department, Chief Executive Office, Department of Public Works and the Department of Regional Planning to prepare three draft ordinances on the Green Building Program to present to Regional Planning for public hearing in 90 days, which took place in January.

If necessary, the ordinances will be revised and brought back to the Regional Planning Commission later this spring and a Board of Supervisors public hearing would take place in mid-year, according to county documents.

The county already incorporates green concepts into the revisions of the General Plan and Zoning Ordinance, encouraging clustered developments within proposed subdivisions, and it requires recycling of 50 percent of construction materials and demolition debris for various building projects, according to county documentation.

Information, http://planning .lacounty.gov/spGreenBuilding Program.htm

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